“Be good!” I yelled as my son headed out the door.

“I will, Mom.”

“Stay safe. Have fun. I love you!”

“I love you too, Mom.”

There was still so much I wanted to say. Stay strong in your faith. Study hard. Be a good friend.

Getting your kids ready for school is so much more than shopping for school supplies and new clothes. It’s preparing them for what they might face–a hurtful word, discouragement, boredom, a tough math problem that seems unsolvable.

Here are 7 school supplies you can use as mini object lessons to get your son or daughter off to a great start.

Get Ready (what you’ll need ahead of time)

  • Buy your son/daughter’s school supplies.
  • Choose a special verse for each child and write it or print it out onto card stock (optional).
  • Buy a small back-to-school gift to slip into their backpack (optional). Need a suggestion? Check out the Fidget toy keychain or Unique sticky notes like this or this.

How it works

  1. Have kids fill their backpacks with their school supplies and bring them to the dinner table (bedroom, living room, wherever you’ll have the devotional)
  2. Choose 4-5 of the school supplies and tie-ins from below.
  3. As you mention each school supply, have kids pull it out of their backpack.

What to say (7 school supplies to choose from as mini object lessons)

Choose 4-5 school supplies from this list and highlight those that resonate with your family most. Explanations for the person giving the devotional are in [brackets]


You’re made in God’s image!

  • Ruler – You use a ruler to measure different things. [Use the ruler to measure something e.g. your finger, the side of the table, etc.] The ruler tells you how long or high or wide it is. When it comes to how valuable you are, measure yourself against God’s Word. Listen to what God says about you—not what people say or think or how well you do or don’t do something. (Read Psalm 103:11 and Psalm 139:17-18)


  • Notebooks – Study hard and you won’t regret it. Even when no one else seems to notice…God does. Work hard to please him, whether anyone else is paying attention to your hard work or not. (Read 2 Timothy 2:15.)


School is more than just work, it’s fun!

  • Markers or crayons – [draw a smiley face with several different colors] Have fun at school. Look for small things that color your day with joy–a funny joke someone told, something interesting you learned. Dress yourself every day with a smile (Read Proverbs 15:30.)
  • Scissors – [Use the scissors to create a shape or to make something like a super simple snowflake.] Be creative. Use what you have to design a craft, create a project, come up with an amazing idea. God gave you an imagination–use it! (Read Exodus 35:35.)


One of the best gifts God gave you is friendship—with your brothers and sisters, classmates, kids on your sports team. Want your friendships to be strong?

  • Eraser – When someone says or does something hurtful, don’t hold it against them or keep thinking about it over and over again. Erase it; forgive—quickly. (Read Proverbs 17:9.)
  • Gluestick – [spread the gluestick on two pieces of paper, then stick them together.] If you want friendships to “stick,” then stay away from gossip or tattling. (Read Proverbs 16:8.)


Some days you might feel like you’ve got a lot on your mind. You’ve got a ton of homework to do, your best friend is upset with you or you’re having trouble with math. You feel like you’ve got a heavy load on your back.

  • Backpack [Pick up one of the backpacks and pretend it’s super heavy, then say…] God says, Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. (Read Psalm 55:2 and 1 Peter 5:7.)
    [Drop the backpack on the floor. Better yet hand it off to someone in the family.] Pray and ask him to take care of things.

Pray a Prayer of Blessing

Heavenly Father, thank you for ______ (child’s name). They’re a gift from you. Bless _________ (child’s name) with peace, protection, and your favor as they start school. In Jesus’s name. Amen. 

Two Surprises

End the back-to-school devotional by reading, and then giving, your son or daughter the verse you chose for them. Then surprise them with a special back-to-school gift. (See suggestions above in the “Get Ready” section.)

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